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#1130753 - 07/25/05 11:24 AM Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...  
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 23
black_coffee Offline
Full Member
black_coffee  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 23
York, England
Practice I know!!

But what kind of practice? Scales only seem to get you so far - is the best type just to simply jam as much as possible? Will this improve you tho, or do you need to take time to learn licks and riffs very slowly and speed them up?

What do people think??


He got smaller as the world got big, the whiz man never fit him like the whiz kid did...

Ben Folds (legend)
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#1130754 - 07/25/05 01:20 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,653
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Bob Muir  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,653
Lakewood, WA, USA
Play more music! You learn something new with everything you can play.

#1130755 - 07/25/05 01:26 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...  
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 82
Paret Offline
Full Member
Paret  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 82
Keller, TX
Play songs. Play songs. Learn songs.
You don't practice turning the steering wheel over and over before you go drive. You just get in the car and learn to drive. Turning the steering wheel is used in context and learned properly. Same with songs. You'll learn the chords in the right context, playing songs, music.

Have fun.

cool


Luis D. Paret
K1LDP
#1130756 - 07/26/05 12:19 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...  
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 741
Rodney Offline
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Rodney  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 741
Caledon ON, Canada
Learn NEW pieces all the time and don't simply regurgitate the music you already now. Every new piece will contribute to skill, speed, technique, chops, etc.

Rodney

#1130757 - 07/26/05 04:17 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...  
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 736
hgiles Offline
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hgiles  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 736
Charlottesville Virginia
Try playing your scales in 3rds. In 4ths. Up 3rd, then a second...

Use Patterns to get around the scale.

Learn a lick then transpose it around the cycle.

Eventually you will start to hear these 'licks' in your head when you are improvising and they'll just come out.


Haywood
-------------
#1130758 - 07/27/05 07:00 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 62
DantheMan Offline
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DantheMan  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 62
Chicago
Scales, and Music.

I started by borrowing some books (sheet music) from the library! Dave Brubeck has some great sheet music.


"Life is a thirty-second note. Live it Forte!"
Quote by me,
-DTM-
#1130759 - 08/05/05 11:24 AM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...  
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 332
Rob Mullins Offline
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Rob Mullins  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 332
LA CA
Hi,
I wrote a book specifically to answer your question. It is called "Blues Step by Step." You can get it at www.planetmullins.com/book.htm.


Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Recording Artist and Jazz Piano Instructor
#1130760 - 08/05/05 11:45 AM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...  
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 736
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member
hgiles  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 736
Charlottesville Virginia
Rob, That short MP3 of C JAM BLUES is AWESOME!!!


Haywood
-------------
#1130761 - 08/07/05 07:29 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...  
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 332
Rob Mullins Offline
Full Member
Rob Mullins  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 332
LA CA
Hi,
Thanks for the props hayman. The book shows the way.


Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Recording Artist and Jazz Piano Instructor
#1130762 - 08/19/05 02:14 AM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 483
Pete the bean Offline
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Pete the bean  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 483
Canada
If you are looking for what to practice, I would highly recommend you pick up a copy of Modern Jazz Piano by Sarah Jane Cion published by Hal Leonard. This book seems to cover the topic of what to practice extremely well. It covers chord and scale theory, drop 2 voicings, bass lines, and more with practice routines. Also, there is a nice cd included. The book includes all the tunes on the cd with her solos transcribed. If I had this book 20 years ago I would have saved myself a lot of time trying to put it all together.

#1130763 - 08/19/05 01:01 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 419
ipgrunt Offline
Full Member
ipgrunt  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 419
Western US
Quote
Originally posted by hgiles:
Rob, That short MP3 of C JAM BLUES is AWESOME!!!
Is this available online?


-- ipgrunt
Amateur pianist, Son of a Pro
#1130764 - 08/19/05 02:26 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 287
dpvjazz Offline
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dpvjazz  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 287
phoenix az
Ever tried recording what you play or practice? I may sound like a broken record here but the mikes don't lie. What they record is what you and everyone HEARS and if it doesn't sound right to you it probably doesn't to us and then you can really work on what is needed to make the music flow. This includes recording your practicing. Scales are the foundation of music, what kind house you want to build will depend on your dedication to learning and mastering the scales. I started to use jam cds and records to hone on specific tunes that I had trouble on years ago and I had the most success when I realized that instead of relaxing I was tightening up. The same problems would always pop up so in certain songs I played them over and over maybe hundreds of times to really feel and understand the tune, but most importantly be really relax and become familiar with the changes. Riffs and licks are in everyone bag of tricks but you do not want to become a RIFF master you want to play music. Riffs and licks are just another part of the whole. I believe John Cintron made one of the best suggestions put on a concert and perform what your practicing. It seems that a little closure CAN BRING A FREEDOM in your playing and you can move on to other challenges. Grab your relatives, neighbors or friends invite them over and play away recording your performance good or bad you can asses it later and make changes. Just remember to enjoy to performance part and take up the critical part later.

#1130765 - 08/20/05 01:16 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...  
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 332
Rob Mullins Offline
Full Member
Rob Mullins  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 332
LA CA
Grunt,
Yes it is available online. Go to http://planetmullins.com/book.htm and scroll down to Blues Step by Step.


Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Recording Artist and Jazz Piano Instructor
#1130766 - 08/20/05 05:03 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,094
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member
swingal  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,094
England
Hi, Black Coffee.

I saw Teddy Wilson playing at York Uni. way back in about 1970 or earlier. I bought one of his LP's

If you listen to enough blues piano you will remember the theme that is basic to the blues.

The old guys like Jay McShane and even Dave Brubeck have recorded blues. Some female pianists too. Also the vocalists can be inspiring. I can get right into the blues theme and it just flows with phrasing and repeats of the final few bars which leads you back to another start and the theme. Sorry not to be more technical but it works for me.

The blues are very much a jazz thing but I believe they must conform with the original basics to be called blues. Take St Louis Blues as a base for example.

I have mentioned this before but Clint Eastwood did a long program TV film, all about the blues with many artists of all flavours. From Ray Charles to Dave Brubeck. And Oscar and Art Tatum too super inspirations.

It might be available somewhere.

Alan


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